By Tom Prete
Ocean Beach Bulletin
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is proposing new restrictions on bonfires at Ocean Beach in response to what it says are ongoing problems with what might otherwise seem a pleasant and traditional part of visiting the beach.
In an announcement Monday afternoon, officials with the GGNRA, a branch of the National Park Service, said they want to end all beach fires by 9 p.m., an hour earlier than the current 10 p.m. fire curfew. They also want to replace the artistic fire pits donated to the GGNRA by Burners Without Borders, installing a set of new fire pits.
While the rule changes wouldn’t spell the end of bonfires on Ocean Beach, officials say there’s just too much garbage, crime and danger that follow fires now.
One of the things park officials want to crack down on is fires built outside of designated fire pits. There now are just five fire pits on Ocean Beach, in a designated fire area between Stairwells 15 and 20 north of Lincoln Way, but an Ocean Beach Bulletin reporter has seen as many as 25 fires burning at the same time between Lincoln Way and the Cliff House, far more bonfires than there were pits to contain them.
Those five Ocean Beach fire pits would be replaced with 12 pits of precast concrete in the same area.
Read the complete proposal for Ocean Beach bonfire rules, including the process required to adopt the new rules: